The science


Diet ID is powered by Diet Quality Photo Navigation, a novel approach to dietary assessment and tracking, predicated on the native human aptitude for pattern recognition and requiring no detailed recall or logging of foods. It presents relevant, fully formed composite images of established dietary patterns and invites the user to select the image most like their own, current food intake. The “this or that” process is repeated until “best possible fit” is achieved. With this method, a baseline dietary pattern can be identified within minutes. 


Studies are currently underway with Boston Heart Diagnostics to validate the Diet ID dietary assessment tool for accuracy and diet quality predictability. Preliminary results show statistically significant correlations between Diet ID and the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), the Gold Standard dietary intake assessment method, as well as between blood biomarkers and Diet ID’s dietary intake report. Results on user experience demonstrate that Diet ID is faster and more enjoyable to use than the FFQ.

the diets

The diets used in the tool were assembled based on evaluation of prevalent eating patterns across North America (with plans to expand globally). These diet types reliably represent the diverse dietary patterns collectively practiced by approximately 95% of the total U.S. population. They were determined and defined using data gathered from a comprehensive (but not systematic) literature review. Data from NHANES, other food intake surveys, research of culinary and food history, and epidemiological studies were used to define the specific food types, consumption frequencies, portions, and preparation methods that characterize each diet, food intake pattern, and attributes of trending and therapeutic diets. New diets are continually being developed to meet the needs of those following geo-specific and/or ethnic dietary patterns.


The Diet ID nutrition team created detailed 3-day menu plans consisting of foods most representative of each diet, with portions most consistent with typical dietary intakes. For purposes of comparison, each diet is standardized to 2000 kcal/day. Data are then analyzed using the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) software. Calculation of nutrients and food groupings provides data for diet quality scoring. Graphic artists generate high-quality visual representations of each dietary pattern from a customized food image database. The overall method, and many of the specific developmental steps, are the subjects of patent filings, and patents pending.

hei 2015

Diet quality is objectively measured using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2015, the most robustly researched and validated tool for measuring diet quality. Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, HEI is particularly useful as it correlates strongly to disease risk and projected healthcare costs. Diet quality is stratified among all diet types and is represented visually as well as quantitatively. Visit this page for more about the HEI.


The unique 3-day menu plans are represented by comprehensive, quantifiable data and easily recognizable visuals of foods and portions most representative of each diet. Diet TYPE and diet QUALITY are uniquely illustrated in each of the 100+ diet types, providing the user with ample options for best match.